Music festivals join blackout to promote 'legal high' ban

Some of the UK's leading music festivals have joined a ban on "legal highs" being sold at their events and will take part in a "digital blackout" to highlight the danger of the controversial stimulants.

The social media accounts of 24 festivals, including T in the Park, Bestival and Lovebox, will go dark for a day from 9am on Monday, while their websites will show only a grey light bulb on a black window with the message: "Don't be in the Dark about Legal Highs."

Bestival in the Isle of Wight is among the festivals taking part in the digital blackout warning about legal highs. Credit: David Jensen/EMPICS Entertainment

The number of deaths associated with the novel psychoactive substances - better known as legal highs - rose from 10 in 2009 to 68 in 2012, a recent substance abuse report found.

Home Office minister Norman Baker has warned that authorities are in a "race with chemists" in India and China who generate new legal highs on a weekly basis.